Employers: Opening Time Is Starting. Ontario Shares Guidelines On Opening Safely

By: Shana Nodel J.D., Principal Lawyer

Like so many others, I cannot wait for the day that I get to open my office doors and greet my team. While we don’t know when exactly it will happen, there is no doubt that eventually the world will resume to normal, albeit a "new" normal and all businesses will be given the green light to open their doors once again. On April 30, 2020, Premier Doug Ford on behalf of Ontario, unveiled more than 60 labour guidelines businesses will need to follow as the province gets closer to reopening. The sector-specific guidelines include general public health recommendations including holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings or barriers to manage traffic flow. The guidelines also recommend things like installing plexiglass barriers, increasing air intake on heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to increase air flow, maintaining frequent cleaning for public spaces and promoting physical distancing. You can find the full list of guidelines and workplace posters by clicking here. What these guidelines mean for an employer will vary but the focus is all the same. The sector-specific list of guidelines is intended to protect workers, customers and the general public from the spread of COVID-19. With many employers having the benefit of some extra "down time", now is a perfect opportunity to revaluate your company's philosophy and implement or update the policies and procedures that you are going to rely on moving forward. While we are all eager to get back to regular business, the announcement by Premier Ford is a clear reminder that we all have to adapt and the City will be watching! Extra inspectors have or will be hired in order to ensure that businesses are complying with the new safety guidelines. There will be a lot of questions in the coming days and TWL Law will do its best to keep you updated. Stay safe and healthy.



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